Effective Staffing for Your Trade Show Convention Display

Staff Scheduling

Determining staff schedules to work your trade show convention display depends on the following general factors:

  1. The hours the exhibition hall is open
  2. The number of days you will be exhibiting
  3. The number of representatives you can afford to send to the show
  4. The expertise of your staff members who will be manning your booth 
  5. The staff training before the show (including how to engage with customers - unlike the staffer with his hands in his pockets in this photo). See training tips below. 

For effective scheduling, you want to ensure you have enough booth coverage to successfully meet and greet prospects, project an image of professionalism and confidence, and effectively pre-qualify booth visitors to garner sales leads.

Some trade show veterans use sophisticated trade show staffing formulas to determine how many team members should work the trade show booth; while others determine schedules based on budget constraints and staff availability.

As a rule of thumb, four hours is the maximum that someone should be scheduled to work a shift at your booth without taking an extended break. A two-to-three hour shift is ideal.

Your staff should always arrive at your trade show booth 15 minutes before a shift starts to ensure a smooth transition for customer and prospect servicing. Those working the first shift of the day, must arrive early enough to make sure your booth is completely set up. Convention attendees should not see you still unpacking boxes and not fully prepared during exhibit hall hours.

Staff Training

Absolutely essential to your success at a given event is comprehensive training of your staff members so each person is thoroughly familiar with all aspects of your product and trade show convention display. Yet for many exhibitors, before-the-show training is often incomplete, rushed or inadequate to yield the type of results or sales potential an event offers.

Therefore, have individuals who will be staffing your display spend a full day at your company or facility for hands-on training with your team. 

To make sure everyone knows the ins and outs of your product before leaving for the show, have individuals talk with product engineers, designers and/or developers. The more they learn through actual, experiential training and interaction, the more they’ll remember and use in the selling process.

Talking with customers (who agree to meet with your staff), reviewing product satisfaction surveys and evaluation forms, and researching competitor offerings will give everyone attending the show greater insights to help more effectively represent your product to prospects.

Another important training component is to have your booth team review all marketing collateral and advertising your company uses to promote your product. This will give everyone a greater sense of brand positioning and the customer selling proposition.

Communicating with Prospects

Develop a thirty-second script or “elevator speech” that describes your product features and benefits. Then have everyone rehearse it so all booth staffers can consistently, effectively and effortlessly...

  • Talk about your product in terms of features and benefits
  • Explain how it helps and serves users, and
  • Discuss why it is better than others available on the market today.

Also provide a list of potential questions booth staffers may receive, along with the answers to address the inquiries and overcome objections. Role playing can be extremely beneficial with Q and A, as part of staff training. 


Related Information - Trade Show Convention Display Staffing

Staffing Strategies and Tips
Trade Show Staffing Formula
Booth Staffing Essentials
Avoid These Booth Staff Mistakes

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